Tim and I got some Kora and Djembe lessons from the owner of Dabo House and his friend. When our lessons were done, this jam session happened.

Stay tuned for video of us playing later in the video. We will NOT be making our musical debut any time soon.

By the way, this is NOT a sponsored video, but Dabo House was a really cool place to stay and so we don’t mind giving them a shout out. They’re in the Brufut neighborhood in The Gambia and very reasonably priced.

Djembe: Dabo (owner of Dabo House)
Kora: Aboubacar Keita (002202985901 What’s App)

The Kora

The Kora is a traditional African instrument that is played by plucking the strings with the fingers. It has a long neck and a round body. The Kora is made from calabash, a gourd common and used widely for a variety of purposes in West Africa.

The Kora was first invented in West Africa, specifically in The Gambia and Senegal. It was originally used for religious ceremonies and storytelling. In the 20th century, it became popular in other parts of Africa as well as Europe and America.

The Djembe

The djembe is a drum that is used in many African countries. Traditionally it is made from a hollowed out tree trunk and has a goatskin playing head. The djembe is usually played with the hands and fingers but sometimes a stick is used.

This drum has 3 tones, bass, tone and slap. Each is created by hitting the drum head in a specific place with an open or closed finger configuration depending on the tone you want.

The history of the djembe dates back to West Africa where it was originally used as an instrument for communication and entertainment. It was also used as a way to communicate messages between villages in the countryside.

Video Transcript

(instrumental music)

(musicians singing)

  • [Drummer] Thank you
    very, very, very, much.

This is a floor show here in Africa

and this one is the calabash.

And that calabash we
have, he have that one,

and that one, he use it

to make music here.

In the olden days, this
here, this calabash

If he and the lady were to married,

we uses this calabash also.

And this calabash

also, we use it

to put in the rice to eat.

And the same, this calabash

we use it also to drink water.

So, in the Africa, this culture

is very important for this calabash,

but only African people know.

But today you also,

I think you enjoy this calabash.

So in the calabash it’s very popular,

very nice and it can make it many-

we use these things many
different, different,

different, different, different
instrument in the calabash.

And we have balafon,
and we have this kora.

And I mean, it can make
it gongoma, this Calabash.

And we have bolon, it’s like base guitar.

The same we use in the calabash.

But if you want to know in the Africa,

You have to go around
and around and around

and around and around.

That’s why always, when the
people come in to Gambia

they say smiling coast.

Cause we like it, the
smiling. It’s not much.

If you were hungry, we’re not hungry

but we want to be happy together

and live together.

So now, today you also
try to remember this one.

If you go back home, always you have some

family here also now.

So you welcome to Gambia and (foreign)

I think you back here again someday.

I’m really happy here.

You have time in the Dabo House while you

you choose to be in Dabo house.

So you welcome to Dabo house.

Anytime you want to come, you welcome.

It’s like your home feel free.

It’s like a home.

Thank you very much.

I’m happy.

You have time, we play
instrument together,

and we happy together.

And I think this happiness
can go more and more and more

and more.

It’s not matter which country you go in,

you never forget this one.

I know that one.

I know that one.

You never forget that one.

It’s nice, man.

And a nice lady.

So you welcome.

You, thank you very much.

I’m really happy you have
your time with one today.

(music continues to play)

(laughing)

(laughing)

  • [Spectator] (laughs and
    jokes in foreign language)

(clapping)

  • Thank you very much.

Thank you.

Team Hazard

Old, fat and disabled and traveling the world anyway. Join Trina and Tim as they wander around the planet bringing you honest stories about the people and places they encounter.

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